News

‘Murderer’ loses judicial review of CCRC’s refusal to refer for appeal

(Posted on 21/05/19)

Paul Cleeland served 26 years in prison for the 1972 Hertfordshire murder of Terry Clarke. He has always maintained he was at home with his wife at the time but legal challenges over the years have failed. This month he lost his latest High Court legal battle: a judicial review of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) decision not to refer his case to appeal. Clarke, a suspected gangland boss, was shot with two rounds... Read more...


Reasons to doubt: What’s the point of the miscarriage of justice watchdog?

Reasons to doubt: What’s the point of the miscarriage of justice watchdog?By on 03/05/19

Just what is the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) for? The question isn’t facetious. For all its problems, the cash-strapped and oversubscribed Birmingham-based miscarriage of justice watchdog seems blessed with a simplicity of purpose. It was set up in 1997 with a single job: to send wrongful convictions back to the Court of Appeal.
This article first appeared in the New Law Journal and is reproduced here with kind permission.. Read more...


Forensic science is in crisis – and this could have critical effects on UK legal system

By on 04/04/19

British scientists played a major role in developing key technologies and techniques for global legal systems. These tools – such as fingerprint and DNA analysis – reveal relationships between individuals, objects and locations involved in a crime. But, as the importance of forensic science and technology for the legal system continues to increase, there are major concerns about the survival of the institutions engaged in such work and the integrity with which it is used.

Today’s problems may not be of the same magnitude as forensic science failures of the 20th century. For example, at the 1975 trial of the Birmingham Six, forensic science evidence contributed to wrongful convictions for murder. But the crises we are now seeing, especially failures to follow rules to make trials fair and the incorrect reporting of test results, seriously harm peoples’ lives. Read more...


from Private Eye

(Posted on 01/04/19)

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Abused wife not a murderer

(Posted on 01/03/19)

In a landmark decision, Sally Challen has had her 2011 murder conviction overturned. She will now face a retrial for killing her husband with a hammer after he subjected her to forty years of control, intimidation and humiliation. Her conviction was ruled unsafe in the light of new psychiatric evidence not available at the time of her trial. She has been supported by her sons David and James and the campaign group Justice for Women. “... Read more...


Unmaking a Murderer

(Posted on 28/02/19)

Wisconsin salvage yard owner and star of Netflix’s Making a Murderer, Steven Avery has won the right to appeal his 2007 conviction of the murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005. On February 13th, his lawyer Kathleen Zellner filed a motion to appeal, claiming that bones discovered on the Avery property as well as in the Manitowoc County Quarry were returned to the victim’s family and never tested for DNA. Zellner... Read more...